Sunday, 8 July 2012
Breaking through the barriers
There are certain moves that are real 'blockers' for me, even after five years of having them taught over and over again. A decent undulation, a nice juicy standard shimmy, a downwards belly roll... there are probably more, but I'd like to maintain the illusion that I'm a half decent dancer.
I don't know whether other dancers get this as well, but good Gods is it frustrating. I see progress in every other area of my dancing, but then the same old bugbears crop up. We're learning a drum choreography in class at the mo, and if I say so myself, I'm not too shabby at some of the more technical stuff, but it takes the shine right off my choo shimmy when it's followed up by a lurching zombie (on a more proficient dancer, you'd call it a camel).
Breaking through one of these barriers, then, is big news, and today I smashed not one but two of them! The setting- Drills and Thrills, a monthly 3 hour workshop run by my awesome teacher.
First down was the undulation. We've been working a lot with Intuflow (caution, autostart music and a lot of woo- youtube is a better bet), gently expanding our range of movement and trying to use every joint to its full range. My main problem with my 'camel' undulation is that my ribs and shoulders act as one big unit, so I spent a lot of time drilling an intuflow move that helps free up the ribcage articulation, and at the end of it, I could do a (very little) undulation with no interfering shoulders!
Next up the juicy shimmy. For years I've suffered from shrinking shimmies, that get tighter and tighter until there's just a little vibration and a whole lot of cramp. I have no idea what has changed since, but today Dawn asked us to do a big old bum wobbling, flab jiggling (my words not hers) shimmy, and for once my body obliged. So much so, in fact, that the dancer next to me turned to watch!
We finished the session with the now traditional dip in the sport's centre's brine pool. This usually involves a lot of handstands, swimming under water racing, handstands, mermaid imitations and me in a silly hat. However, I can;t underrate the value of it after a hardcore workout. Since we moved to this new venue, I've been much less sore and stiff the day after classes. Plus, you know, mermaids!